Bruins Catch Huge Break Ahead of Game 5

The Boston Bruins get a big break ahead of the pivotal game 5 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.
Apr 20, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) controls
Apr 20, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) controls / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

With the Boston Bruins facing the chance to send the Toronto Maple Leafs to the golf course on Tuesday night, the Leafs are likely to be without star Auston Matthews. Matthews led the entire NHL this season in goals, with 69. He also added 38 helpers for a total of 107 points, which was good for the best on this Leafs' squad.

NHL News: Auston Matthews Unlikely To Play in Game 5 Vs. Bruins

Matthews had a goal and two assists in Game 2, Toronto's only win of the series. He has not registered a point in any of the other three match-ups.

Matthews has been dealing with a "lingering illness", which he reportedly played through in Game 3. Team doctors pulled him out of Game 4 after two periods. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe shed some more light on his star's illness:

"We thought the last couple of days would help us. But, for whatever reason, it's not one of those run-of-the-mill type of illnesses that sort of comes and goes. This one has lingered, and the effects have lingered and gotten worse when he's got on the ice and is asserting himself."

Toronto Head Coach Sheldon Keefe

Toronto winger William Nylander also missed the first three games of the series after reportedly battling with migraines. Nylander played all 82 regular season games for the Leafs and was the team's second-highest scoring, behind Matthews, with 98 points. Matthews missed the third period of Game 4 and hasn't been 100%, so Boston hasn't faced Toronto at "full strength" in this series.

Boston and Toronto have faced off in four postseason series since 2013. All of the previous three have gone to a Game 7. The Maple Leafs have not beaten the Bruins in a playoff series since 1959.

Monday night, the defending Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers knocked out the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5. The Panthers await the winner of the Bruins-Leafs series.

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